To Fund Or Not To Fund?

City College of New York political-science professor Daniel DiSalvo has an essay on Minding the Campus, in which he covers the battle that has erupted over federal funding for research in political science.

Representative Eric Cantor and Senator Jeff Flake want to stop such research funding, while the Washington Post’s Ezra Klein maintains that “scientists rather than politicians should determine what research enterprises are worthy of government support.”

I agree with Terrence Kealey that it’s hard to make a good case even for government funding of actual science; when it comes to political-science research, we ought to leave its funding up to individuals and organizations that are spending their own money. Political scientists who have something potentially important to study should compete for financial support among people who face both opportunity costs and at least some prospect of ignominy if they throw money away on pointless academic blather.

George Leef — George Leef is the director of research for the John William Pope Center for Higher Education Policy.

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